Driving under the influence, which is also known as DUI, is an offense which is common across the United States and in the state of Florida. It has actually been found that most people who have been arrested for DUI did not know that they were guilty of a crime.
In West Palm Beach, driving under the influence is criminalized under the Florida Statues Annotated Section 316.193. A person who commits the offense is one who controls a vehicle when they are under the influence of either alcohol or drugs so that their faculties are compromised or impaired. What this means is that your sight, balance, speech and the ability to carry out physical and mental acts is somewhat impaired.
A person may also be deemed to be under the influence based on their blood alcohol content. In West Palm Beach, the blood alcohol content limit is 0.08. If you are suspected to be driving under the influence, you may be subjected to various tests. These tests include a breath, urine or blood test. However, the breathalyzer is the most convenient method to test alcohol levels in the blood.
Under the laws in Florida, anyone who drives a vehicle is deemed to have consented to a test that would determine their sobriety should it be brought to question. If you refuse to go through with the test, you may be liable to a suspension of your license.
When you are charged with a DUI offense in West Palm Beach, there are various penalties which may be imposed on you. The penalties which you will receive are dependent on various factors, including the number of DUI convictions that you have had before. A first offender will normally be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. The penalty for a first offender may be a jail period for not more than six months. They may be fined $2,000 or less. They may also be given a 180-day license suspension.
A second offender is normally charged with a first-degree misdemeanor which is punishable by nine months’ jail term or less. The fine is also increased and stands at a maximum of $ 4,000. The suspension on the driving license is for 180 days or less.
When you are charged with a DUI, you may raise several defenses. For instance, you could say that the impairment which you had was caused by something else and not alcohol. You could show the court that you suffered from injuries or an illness like diabetes when you were arrested.
When you get arrested for a DUI offense, you need the legal assistance of an attorney. There are many attorneys in West Palm Beach who specialize in DUI and related cases. An experienced attorney will help you with the paperwork and even represent you in court when your case is heard. They can also guide you on which defenses to raise, so as to reduce the penalties which may be given out by the court. Working with an attorney who practices DUI defense is crucial because they are especially familiar with the DUI laws of Florida.